EPIC ROAD'S SAFARI BLOG

Entries in winelands (1)

Thursday
Jun062013

Wine and Dine in Africa

winelands south africa

Harvesting of grapes at a winery in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Embarking on a safari might top your to-do list while visiting South Africa, but don't forget about the local African wine and cuisine. Great food paired with great wine may be considered a luxury in our daily lives, but on this continent it is not such a rare find. The farm-to-table movement sweeping U.S. gourmet cuisine is alive and thriving in South Africa, and has been for years. Farm-to-table means using fresh, local ingredients to enhance taste, health, and sustainability. 

Primarily along the Cape, high-end chefs are cooking with vegetables from their on-premise gardens, seafood from the near coasts, and meat raised in local valleys. From traditional South African food to experimental gastronomy, only the freshest of ingredients are dominating top restaurants. And dinner is rarely complete without a careful pairing of one of the country's best wines. 

Some of the finest restaurants and wineries in the world can be found in the winelands surrounding Cape Town, and many of them incorporate their own luxury lodgings. Delight in exquisite African wine and cuisine while enjoying Africa's top hotels.

Delaire Graff Estate

Lodging overlooking the vineyards of the Delaire Graff Estate.

Where to Stay

Le Quartier Francais

On the Western Cape, Le Quartier Francais’ cottage-inspired suites are nestled in lush gardens that offer tranquility amidst the liveliness of Franschhoek. The luxury hotel houses two award-winning restaurant experiences: innovative fine dining in the Tasting Room and tapas-style cuisine in the Common Room. Both are run by Food Network’s 2012 Chef of the Year, Margot Janse. Both are notably vegan and vegetarian friendly. Even the hotel’s available cooking classes use locally grown and seasonal produce. 

The Steenberg Luxury Hotel

Surrounded by gorgeous views of the Constantia Winelands, The Steenberg is situated on the Cape’s oldest running farm. The location allows for both the freshest local cuisine and best African wines, with an emphasis contemporary South African flavors. Guests are welcome to have an impromptu wine tasting at the Wine Tasting Bar or schedule a longer experience in the ambiance of the Wine Tasting Lounge. Catharina, The Steenberg’s acclaimed fine dining restaurant upholds chef Garth Almazan’s philosophy that a meal should be as fresh and minimal as possible. 

One & Only Cape Town

For a more urban experience, One & Only offers modern elegance while maintaining the authenticity of South African city life. The accommodations are exquisitely furnished with color palettes inspired by the vibrancy of African culture. This same tribute to Cape Town can be felt in the food at Reuben’s, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, which prides itself on beautifully crafted dishes with big flavors. Beloved South African chef Reuben Riffel collaborates with the country’s top winemakers to host Wine & Dine Evenings that allow guests to indulge in the diverse tastes of South Africa. 

Delaire

One of South Africa’s most historic wine regions, Stellenbosch, is the backdrop to the Delaire Graff Estate. Once exclusively a farm, the lodge now houses two gourmet restaurants, a spa, two boutiques, and a winery. The estate’s executive chef Christiaan Campbell creates what he likes to call ‘sunshine cuisine’, meaning his clients are brought to life through his food, which uses only ethically sourced ingredients. Owner Laurence Graff also displays his personal collection of South Africa’s contemporary artwork, making Deliare an incredibly unique culinary, hospitality, and fine art destination.